Story Notes: I wrote this way before I finished hashing out where Breaking Novikov was headed, but if you squint at it you could consider it loosely related.
Dreams of Days Never Come
He was sleeping when the door flew open. Well, sleeping until the banging that preceded the door opening. He popped to his feet as the Slayer stormed in, already on the defensive.
"Should have known it's you. Been nearly six hours."
She scowled at him. "Well, it would've been less if I wasn't busy cleaning up your mess.
"My mess?" He scoffed. "I just borrowed the doc. The mess is yours, Slayer. Yours and the boy's." Wasn't his fault her moronic boy toy hadn't sense enough to save his own life. And what did she expect him to do? Evil, yeah? What made her think he'd jump to help that wanker when he had a chance to get this soddin' chip out?
"I'm done." Buffy pulled a stake from her back pocket and strode toward him.
Really? Some part of him had thought she wouldn't do it. For all she loved to threaten him and kick him around she was too good to kill something that couldn't fight back. It was the very core of her personality. Maybe that last attempt to kill her had finally pushed her over the edge?
Her mouth was set in a firm line and she didn't look happy, or even relieved, just determined. "Spike, you're a killer. And I shoulda done this years ago."
He met her eyes, weighing her sincerity. She meant to go through with it, he could see it. He couldn't find the will to fight back, to run, even to snark. Maybe she was right. Maybe it was time this was done, yeah? What had his unlife become? Wired up, worse than harmless, unable to feed, barely able to fight, practically the Slayer's lap dog . . .
Yeah, unlife wasn't worth much anymore, was it?
"You know what? Do it. Bloody just do it."
He supposed it wasn't surprising that she was surprised. Was a survivor, him. He didn't care anymore. And he wouldn't let her back out now.
"End. My. Torment." It was a challenge more than a plea. Wouldn't beg for it. "Seeing you, every day, everywhere I go, every time I turn around. Take me . . . out of a world . . . that has you in it!" He hadn't realized that was the crux of the problem until he said it, but now he saw it was utter truth. He couldn't bear the sight of her one more day. Not with the way things were. He yanked his shirt off and lobed it back into the crypt, offering his bare chest as an easy target. "Just kill me!"
Buffy stared at him, unaccountably torn. It only lasted a moment; then she raised her stake and lunged. Despite himself he winced, anticipating the blow.
It never came.
They stared at each other, unmoving, for moments that stretched to eternity and back.
She hadn't staked him. Why?
And, God, what was this feeling rushing through him? More than relief, beyond gratitude, mixed with a generous helping of hope that he didn't understand. What he did understand was that she was gorgeous, and here, and she hadn't staked him so she must not hate him as she'd said, and suddenly that meant everything.
She didn't hate him and he didn't hate her. So what then?
The realization hit him hard and he reached to grab her by the upper arms, pulling her in for a passionate, mind-blowing kiss.
Fine line, yeah? So many similar reactions, physical and mental. Easy enough to get them confused, especially when what you felt wasn't what you were meant to.
She pulled back with a little noise of dismay, hand coming up to her mouth, eyes too wide for her delicate face. But she was panting, just as he was. She wasn't running and the stake was gone.
He waited, tense with anticipation. Did she see it too? Had she figured it out?
She closed the distance between them in two quick steps and reached for him, arms wrapped around the back of his head, pulling him down for another heated kiss. His hands rose to clutch at her back, as if to assure himself she was really there, lips drifting from her lips to her check to the side of her neck.
It was glorious. She was glorious. And . . .
"Spike," she panted, eyes to the ceiling, hands in his hair. "I want you"
"Buffy, I love you."
She froze and he pulled back to look in her eyes as he said it again, pouring all the intensity of his newly recognized feelings into the words, finger stroking her cheek longingly.
"God, I love you so much."
He awoke with a sudden start in his own bed, pushed up on his elbows, panting against the panicked despair rising in his dead chest. All he could see was the look of utter horror on his lover's face as he confessed his love for her.
"No, God no."
His quiet exclamation stirred movement in the slender body tucked against his own and he stilled – hoping he hadn't woken her. She settled back into sleep with a tiny sigh, her breathing returning to the heavy, even pace of deep sleep. He waited a moment and then turned carefully on his side to watch her. It took everything he had not to reach out and touch her, to make sure she was real. To chase away the dream
It had felt so real, which confused him because no part of it had any basis in the reality he knew. He frowned as he tried to remember the details of the dream. They'd been fighting, though they'd only made vague allusions to the source of the conflict. He thought it had something to do with that army wanker – Finn, was it? The one what kept popping up all last year. Useless git, that one, a passing face in a sea of faces that was his long life, hardly worth remembering except that he'd helped them run the government gits out of town . . . eventually. But in the dream he'd been a much more integral part of their lives. He thought Finn and Buffy had been together in the dream world.
What kind of background story was that? His girl with the overgrown boyscout? Ridiculous. As if a boy like that could give her what she needed. As though she'd ever have need to try.
Still, in the dream he'd known it for fact. Just as he'd known that the love he felt for Buffy was unrequited. She'd wanted him, but that was all.
The thought left him cold.
Buffy breathed deeply beside him, snuggling deeper into his body, and warmth replaced the chill.
It was just a dream. Buffy did love him. She was his as he was hers, for however long her life lasted.
She stirred in earnest and he realized that at some point he'd begun stroking her hair. She rolled to face him with green eyes blinking blearily into his.
He removed his hand with an apologetic smile. "Sorry, luv, didn't mean to wake you. Go back to sleep," he encouraged.
She stared at him, gaze too knowing. "What's wrong?"
She said nothing, only continued to stare into his eyes, and he sighed. Ponce. He looked away, but the apartment wall offered neither solace nor answers and his gaze returned to hers. "Had a dream is all."
"Tell me?" She propped herself up on one elbow, her other arm moving to lay across his waist.
He relished the warmth of her touch, took strength from it.
"Well, started off with us arguin' 'bout something or other. Not sure what, but I think it had something to do with the supped up soldier what helped us take down those army gits last spring." He shook his head, unable to pin it down more precisely and uncertain why he felt he needed to. "But, yeah, we were arguing."
She grinned, saucy little thing that she was. "Us, arguing? Who'd a thunk?"
She gave a one shouldered shrug. "I'm just saying, you weren't nearly as pushy and annoying before we got together."
God, but she was perfect. Knew just what he needed to pull him back to reality, didn't she? Without ever saying a word about the problem she'd solved it completely.
He imitated her nonchalance. "Din't have the girl yet, did I? Had to be on my best behavior."
She arched a brow. "That was your best behavior?"
"Shut your gob." He snapped his teeth at her playfully and she laughed. "You wanna hear the rest or not?" It seemed less important now, but he'd still like to tell her. Get it all off his chest.
She settled down. "I'm listening."
He nodded. "Right. So, we were arguing and then I kissed you. You said you wanted me and I said I loved you and . . ." He paused because even if all he had was hers, or maybe because all he had was hers, it was hard to admit this last bit. "It felt like the first time I'd said it and somehow I knew that you wouldn't say it back and when I woke up I was so relieved that I had you. That you do love me."
She smiled tenderly, the hand at his waist sweeping upward to frame his jaw. "I do, you know."
"I know." He smiled back because he did. He knew it down to his bones. Buffy loved him. Had done for a long time now.
"So what do you think the dream was about then?" she asked, head titled in curiosity. "They're just your brain processing stuff, filing memories, right? So something had to trigger it. I mean, my psych teacher was a mad scientist who almost took out the town on accident, but I think she at least got that much right. It was in the book. So what do you think it was?"
He shrugged. "Dunno."
She studied him critically. "You sure? I didn't do anything to make you, um, worry, did I?"
The sincere concern in her eyes was too much. He clasped her arms lightly, rolling them so she was beneath him and his weight rested on his arms. "God, no, sweetheart. Never." He leaned down to kiss her gently.
"Never?" she asked the moment he shifted his lips from hers to allow her to breath. Her hands stroked the back of his neck tenderly. "I know we tease and we argue, but I do love you. Always and forever."
"To the end of the world," he murmured against the soft skin under her jaw. "Even if that happens to be today."
"And even if I live a hundred years," she added softly.
He peered up into her beautiful green gaze. "Say it again."
She smiled. "I love you."
He shuddered right down to his toes. "Again?"
"I love you. Every part of you. Forever." Her fingers stroked in time with her words, a potent argument. She twisted to kiss the top of his head. "I love you. I love you. I love you."
The last ended on a gasp as he slid his hand down to her center.
"I know," he promised her.
The rest of the conversation continued without words.
Chapter End Notes:
So, this wasn't meant to be part of the BN world - I already done did that once - but I suppose it could be. Obviously it's not a glimpse into the BN world, but it could be viewed as a temporal disturbance. Or a dream from the Powers. Or Spike's natural tendency to beat up on himself and not believe anyone can love him. Your choice. Thanks for reading!